Privately rented housing or student accommodation?

Posted in: Postgraduate

Author: Sabine Kamill, MSc Modern Building Design –


My guide to help you find the perfect space during your studies

If you have decided to join the University of Bath or have already received an unconditional offer, then let me congratulate you. You are one of the lucky ones who will get to experience beautiful Bath, which is well known for its safety, great restaurants and its World Heritage status.

In 2017, Homes & Property ranked several UK universities by rental affordability. In this study Bath records average rents of 487 GBP a month. In comparison, monthly room prices for students at Queen’s University Belfast are on average 287 GBP, whereas King’s College London students need to dip deeper into their pockets with rental costs of approx. 1,198 GBP per month. In that case, we’re quite lucky to live in Bath.

As you might have experienced during your undergraduate studies, you can either live in student accommodation or in a private house with other students, professionals or by yourself.

Private housing

If you are currently abroad and cannot manage to come to Bath for any viewings, your search on finding a suitable room might be difficult. You cannot see and experience what the flat or your potential roommates are truly like. Also, private landlords often prefer renting their rooms to people they have already met in person.

It’s possible to have a look at public Facebook groups to find potential roommates to ‘buddy-up’ with or find other students who are currently looking for roommates. If you are lucky enough, you can find great accommodation and roommates this way.

The University has put together useful tips to help you find private sector accommodation.

Student accommodation

If you prefer student accommodation, there are various options listed on the university website.

Postgraduate accommodation prices 2018 to 2019

Postgraduate student accommodation options

Usually, those are slightly pricier than staying private. However, private housings mostly lists only the rental costs, excluding bills such as council tax, electricity, gas etc..

My experience

I’ve experienced both types of accommodation and personally prefer staying in student accommodation for the following reasons:

  • Living in an en-suite room gives you privacy where the communal kitchen provides social interactions
  • Security services and CCTV are provided
  • If any issues occur, the University will kindly support you
  • You create a much bigger clique consisting of students from other courses than yours

After living in private accommodation in the first one-and-a-half months with three other girls from another university, I wanted to move out as the house was quite far away and I rather wanted to have my own place. I got a lot of support from the University and great friends who I got to meet during the induction week. Therefore, I was lucky to get the room from a friend’s colleague at Thornbank Gardens.

You have to be aware that not only your academic grades but also your wellbeing can be affected when living in a bad or unsuitable accommodation. I was very lucky to get even greater roommates in my new place and have had a fabulous time here ever since.

My great roommates and me in the beautiful garden of Thornbank Gardens student accommodation

To sum it up, if you consider private accommodation, try to buddy-up with people you are familiar with (check the websites and Facebook groups) and go to the viewings (you can stay in a hostel in the meantime). If you are an international student, check the deadlines to apply for student accommodation on the uni’s website. Other than that, the University’s wellbeing service is available for you whenever you face any issues with your roommates or studies.

Bath is a great town with wonderful places to visit. Enjoy your time here!

Posted in: Postgraduate

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